Posted on March 28, 2015 at 5:53 PM
We are all feeling the responsibility and strain of our 1400 mile undertaking, for the noble cause of the preservation of our glorious mascot, the noble tiger. However, there is one burden that weighs more heavily on my heart than all the miles on my shoes: feeding Amanda Dole after her runs. You see, in Group 2B, the person sitting shotgun (most frequently myself) is tasked with a lot: navigation, shouting instructions and encouragement to the runner, being the ears of Julie Kerchner during her leg, and, most perilous of all, ensuring that the ravenous Amanda is able to get some food in her stomach despite immediately becoming driver after her run!
Of course, she must drive with two hands on the wheel, but her stomach understands little except its own emptiness. And so, I must tame that fist-sized beast with only a limited assortment of tools. My first choice is, of course, a banana, which can be quickly peeled and held up to her mouth, so she may choose the size bite that is sufficient.
However, on this particular shift, supplies were running low, thanks to our broken fridge, and metabolisms were burning fast. I had to do something, and quick. Reaching from my seat, I grab our bag and rummage through furiously looking for something, anything! Batons, sweaty clothes, wipes: at last, a cheese stick! Sweating a little, I fumble a little trying to open the packaging.
"WHAT'S TAKING SO LONG!" demands the mouth. In one motion, I peel a strand and pass it to the teeth. The feeding has begun. The rest of the cheese stick goes in a similar fashion, quickly and painlessly, but I have a feeling: this isn't over. The eyes of Amanda Dole look into mine, and I peer into the windows of her stomach as the mouth says, "MORE?"
Desperately, I look around: something, anything, but what! Fortunately for my well-being, I narrowly escape a hungry driver by resting my eyes on a bag of goldfish. It's almost empty, and probably stale, but it'll just have to do. I grab a handful and start shoveling them into the mouth zealously, as if my life depended on it! Through a thick paste of half-chewed crackers, I hear a muffled "ENOUGH, ENOUGH!" Chewing fills the tense silence, and then a gulping swallow. I wait for the mouth to open again, to push more and more food past those fierce, white teeth, to fill the empty pit below.
I have made it through another feeding.
Keep your eyes open for a photo gallery, which should be available early this week. Alex Shipman has been documenting the trip with photographs of our progress, so be sure to check back!